Hormones May Boost Ovarian Cancer Risk
Using hormones to treat menopause symptoms may increase the risk of ovarian cancer, a new study finds. This is true even if hormones are used for only 5 years. But the increase in the actual number of cancers is relatively small, the authors say. For this study, researchers combined the results of 52 prior studies. They included a total of more than 12,000 women with ovarian cancer. Women who used hormone replacement therapy were 40% more likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who never used hormones. The increased risk of using hormones for 5 years was equal to about 1 extra case of ovarian cancer for every 1,000 users, the study found. That would lead to about 1 extra death for every 1,700 users. The increase in risk was the same whether women used the hormones estrogen and progesterone, or estrogen alone. The risk was seen only for hormone replacement therapy.